Monday, April 28, 2014

Nucleus hives

Monday April 28, 2014 (62 degrees F, calm and clear)

A picture of the new nuc hives that we created last week in the home yard. Notice the two tall donor hives and all the bees actively flying and bringing home pollen and nectar. All the new queens were accepted and the new colonies are already behaving like established honey bee colonies. A couple of more nucs are to the left and got cut out of the picture. One of these days, maybe I'll learn how to take a decent picture!
The stacks of boxes in the background are empty honey supers for later this Spring. The nucs
are to the left of tall hive with the blue cover and then to the right of the tall hive with the white cover are 2 sitting a little lower than the big hive. An inner hive cover is leaning against the cinder blocks.

Sunday, April 27, 2014

Making Nucs

April 24, 2014 (55 degrees F, gusty, clear skies)

Made some Springtime Nucs from the overwintered hives today. Basically, I take 4 or 5 frames of capped brood from the existing hive, make sure the queen is not on them and add them to a empty hive box on a new bottom board with an outer over. An hour or so later I give them a mated queen and leave them alone for a week. This small nucleus hive will grow quickly and produce a honey crop later in the year.
A bank of 3 queen cages which each contain a mated queen, some attendants and a white candy plug for food.
A couple of the parent hives where I took the brood frames from to make the nucleus hives. Green grass, trees blooming and bees flying, it's Springtime in the bee yard.

Saturday, April 5, 2014

Spring: time for bees

Finally, Spring is here. 
Checked one of the bee yards today, April 5, and the bees are collecting three colors of pollen and enjoying a light Maple nectar flow as well. The pollen is grayish white, mustard yellow and bright orange yellow in color. The sources of the pollen is probably Maples, Alder, Elm and Willow. Quite a sight! 
I reversed the brood boxes and got a good look at the brood pattern which is  building up very quickly to more "normal" Springtime levels. A welcome observation after the severe Winter and abnormally cold early Spring weather.